The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team was eliminated from the Big East Baseball Tournament after losses to the Creighton Blue Jays on Thurs., May 26 and to the St. John’s Red Storm on Fri., May 27 in Aberdeen, Md.Shane McCarthy took the mound first for the Pirates, facing off against Creghton’s Rollie Lacy. McCarthy pitched eight solid innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and striking out four.
Seton Hall got off to a great start against Creighton in game one, with left fielder Zack Weigel and designated hitter Mike Alescio hitting RBI singles to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
With the Pirates leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Creighton recorded four infield hits to tie the game up at three. Seton Hall retook the lead in the top of the sixth when Alescio was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, making it 4-3 Pirates. First baseman Mikael-Ali Mogues then hit into an RBI double play to bring in Seton Hall’s fifth run of the ballgame.
Zach Schellenger came on in relief of McCarthy in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game, but the Blue Jays refused to go down quietly. After a leadoff walk from Creighton’s Ryan Fitzgerald and a strikeout from Schellenger, pinch hitter Brennan Hammer hit an infield chopper that was misplayed by Pirate shortstop Chris Chiaradio, putting the tying run at first base.
Creighton center fielder Daniel Woodrow then hit a bloop single to left field; Weigel attempted to throw Fitzgerald out, but a wide throw hit him and ricocheted away from catcher Matt Fortin, allowing Fitzgerald to score. Schellenger chased the ball down but then made another errant throw to Fortin, which brought in the tying run and moved Woodrow all the way to third base.
Seton Hall opted to intentionally walk the next batter, Nicky Lopez, but the second pitch went wide of Fortin and allowed Woodrow to come in to score the winning run. Creighton scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Pirates in wild fashion, 6-5.
Seton Hall’s Zach Prendergast took the mound in the second game, facing off against the Red Storm’s Ryan McAuliffe. Both starters went seven innings, with Prendergast allowing four runs on seven hits while McAuliffe let up just one run on four hits.
St. John’s struck first with a two-run top of the fourth inning. A throwing error from Prendergast allowed first baseman John Valente to score, and two batters later, right fielder Anthony Brocato hit an RBI single to put St. John’s up 2-0.
The Pirates offense answered back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring their lone run on an RBI single from Fortin. The Red Storm would score again in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from center fielder Alex Caruso. A throwing error by Seton Hall’s center fielder Derek Jenkins then allowed St. John’s to score their fourth run in the top of the eighth inning as the Red Storm cruised to a 4-1 victory, ending the Pirates’ season.
Seton Hall ends the season with a 38-20 overall record, a significant improvement over last year’s 25-25 season. Seniors Weigel, Jenkins, Brett Fontenelli, Luke Cahill, Chiaradio and Sam Burum all donned the Seton Hall uniform for the final time on Fri., May 27. Jenkins and McCarthy were named to the 2016 All-Big East First Team, while Weigel and Cullen Dana were named to the Second Team.
Matt Lapolla can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Lapollarbear.